Brussels ranked most versatile shopping city in the Benelux
14 Dec, 2011, Brussels
Cushman & Wakefield released their first edition of the Benelux Retail Monitor. This study provides a ranking of the 30 main cities in the Benelux, according to their attractivity as a retail destination. The cities are graded based on different criteria split into five separate categories:
- 'Potentiality': socio-economic weight: catchment area, age-structure and spending power.
- 'Mixity': the presence of anchor and flagship stores, of large-scale stores and of hotels, restaurants & pubs.
- 'Accessibility': easy access, road infrastructure and amount of parking space, as well as public transport.
- 'Footfall' in each city.
- 'Specialty': presence of concentrated specialty retail areas as well as the attractivity towards international retailers.
This unique model was developed by Cushman & Wakefield in collaboration with a student from the Fontys Hogescholen in Eindhoven. The applied methodology brings to light the strengths and weaknesses of the 30 main cities.
Brussels, Amsterdam, Maastricht and Bruges all received good to outstanding marks in every category. Even though the Dutch cities Rotterdam and Amsterdam have the highest numbers of large-scale stores, Belgium and Luxembourg score better overall. However the Netherlands takes the lead when it comes to the number of hotels, restaurants and pubs.
Jef Van Doorslaer from the European Research Group of Cushman & Wakefield explains how the catchment area plays a crucial role in this report: 'When studying the potential of a retail city it is essential to factor in the geography and population of its catchment area. This may seem quite basic, but it is too often overlooked. This is how we can ascertain that although Amsterdam and Antwerp are very strong shopping cities, they're both limited by their respective sparsely populated harbour areas. On the other hand, Brussels benefits highly from its location. Surrounded by densely populated municipalities with high spending power, the city exerts a 360° attraction potential.'
The attractive force of a city can also be assessed by its number of visitors. Whereas many Dutch cities score relatively well in footfall, they are nonetheless outranked by Antwerp and Brussels. Some cities attract more visitors than their size would imply. Indeed Maastricht, in spite of its small size, seduces more shoppers than Ghent, Liège, Eindhoven or The Hague, which all have higher ranks in other categories. This is why the report also takes into the account the 'specialty score' of each city. This includes the presence of specialty shopping zones that add the extra 'flavour' and affect the overall attractive force of cities like Amsterdam, Brussels, Maastricht and Antwerp.
The top-5 of the general ranking is made up of three Dutch cities and two Belgian cities. With its overall higher scores, Brussels takes the lead as the most versatile shopping city in the Benelux, but is followed very closely by Amsterdam and Antwerp.
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Jef Van Doorslaer
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